Loire Valley – Centre Val De Loire – Things To Do

Centre Val de Loire

If Centre Val De Loire isn’t on your bucket list yet, it’s about to be.

Chateau de Villandry

After living in Paris, France for almost 3 years, one of the best perks was being able to spend time in the French countryside.

In May 2012 we visited the Centre Val De Loire when my aunt came to visit us from Brazil.

She wanted to take a road trip in France, so we ended up right in the middle of Northern France for a weekend.

Centre Val De Loire valley france

What is Centre Val de Loire Known for?

The Centre Val De Loire is basically a winery paradise, because it produces… you guessed it – WINE.

Lots of wine!

Centre Val De Loire winery

Farmland covers the region & many of these farms are active wineries.

If you’re looking for something other than wine, the architecture alone will take your breath away.

The Centre Val de Loire also has an impressive, gothic cathedral & magnificent castles.

Would you believe we actually stayed in this castle?

Centre Val De Loire chateaux

Yes, a castle that’s been turned into a B&B hotel.

But bring your allergy meds – it’s an authentic experience.

They owners give you a tour after breakfast, which is both relaxing & creepy (see the hand on the table??).

Here’s our room & yes it did feel a little haunted.

The rest of the room just shows the amount of junk you have to bring when traveling with a baby for a weekend.

Back to the Centre Val de Loire.

It’s a big area, so there are many things to do.

We didn’t make it to the Pays de la Loire region, but it’s on the top of our list of things to do for next time.

It’s a region on the coast of the Bay of Biscay with a medieval fort called Château de Saumur.

We did visit a few other castles along the way.

Château de Villandry 

The garden at the Chateau de Villandry was incredibly maintained & these pictures don’t do it justice.

And it was practically EMPTY, so we had the entire place to ourselves.

Château de Chenonceau 

There is no scale in these pictures, so you can’t see just how massive the Chateau de Chenonceau really is.

It’s so well kept outside that it’s even more stunning in person.

So here’s a little more about the Centre Val de Loire for your trip.

What language is spoken in Centre Val de Loire?

Of course, since it’s located in France, French is the primary language.

However, this is an area of France where they say the purest French is spoken.

Meaning, unlike Paris, there are no accents present. 

Centre Val De Loire winery

It’s like stepping into a time machine where you’ve gone back into French history.

What city is Loire Valley in?

So the Loire Valley isn’t just one town.

It’s a long stretch of multiple towns and areas.

Every single one of these towns has stunning castles, bridges, and history to offer.

Some of the more popular towns are:

  • Orléans
  • Blois
  • Amboise
  • Tours
  • Angers
  • Saumur
  • Nantes
  • Saint-Nazaire

Since the train from Paris arrives in Tours, it’s a bustling little town & a tourist favorite.

How do I get from Paris to Loire Valley by Train?

The Loire Valley makes a great day trip from Paris.

Since we were living in Paris, we had a car & drove to the Loire Valley.

loire castle

If you plan to visit by train, go to the Montparnasse train station.

This connects you to the Tours station which is a great spot to explore Loire Valley from.

Depending on where you’re going in the Loire Valley, it can take anywhere from 35 minutes to 1.5 hours.

Why is the Loire River important?

The Loire River is the longest river in France.

It begins in south-central France and runs for 634 miles until it connects to the Atlantic Ocean.

loire river

Now what do you think?

Is the Centre Val De Loire going on your bucket list?

If you’re ever in France, it’s worth booking a night or two in a castle.

It’s a quick and easy day trip from Paris that will thrill both the grandparents & the kids.

You’ll leave feeling like you stepped back in time.